The High & Mighty's B-Boy Document '99 b/w Mind, Soul and Body single is near and dear to the remnants of my teenage heart. Split as a “High Side” and a “Mighty Side,” I now find irony in my fondness of the “Mighty Side.”
I never kept a “bag of chronic inside my locker,” but as teenage hip hop addict and owner of a locker, that line always drew an excited sing-a-long from me. From the drop of “I represent through mind, soul and body,” one cannot resist feeling of dirty decibels being dropped. I discovered this record as a junior in high school, stoned in a friend's basement, exploring the limits of my DJ skills. Sometimes there's even a smell that comes to mind. It's of schwag weed and smelly jim socks in the backseat of my friend's car as we cruise around country roads bumping “A Friendly Game of Football.”
There's an unprecedented dustiness to the sampled chorus. The vocals hardly feel recent enough to be lifted from Eric Sermon's 1995 Bomdigi b-side “Tell'em,” which features Redman's sister Roselyn Noble kicking a verse. While, I have no conclusive evidence supporting this, the verse has a curiously Redman-esque candor that may have been penned by Reggie Noble himself. We may never know considering the siblings share initials.
Masta Ace regrettably dissed The High & Mighty as “a couple of high whiteys” on “Acknowledge,” but the diss is an accurate call. Speculating once again, but The High & Mighty probably had the illest trees in the tri-state area. It's the only reasonable explanation as to how this group got an all-star line up of underground MCs to guest on its debut Home Field Advantage, a list that includes Eminem, Cage, Mos Def, El-P, Pharoahe Monch and Kool Keith.
Somewhere I still have an interview tape of Tame One wacked out on pills, ranting about the bad business ethics of DJ Mighty Mi at Eastern Conference Records. I remember his posse silencing him as they stopped treating me like the college dude in the green room and more like an exploitation artist at large. I never did transcribe that interview, but Tame One was freaked out of his mind and brilliant on stage that night.
The label is no more and given that experience I am not surprised at its quiet demise. Tales of business fuckery continued to surface as the label's roster slowly trickled over to Definitive Jux or went the independent route. You could hear it in the polish of sound, the dulling of samples, Eastern Conference Records were following the Rawkus model to a fault.